First Night Akron 2018 Artist Guide


Acme Fresh Market Selfie Station
John S. Knight Center – Maidenburg Concourse // 6-11 p.m.

Grab a prop and take a selfie with your family. #AcmeFreshMarket

Akron Art Museum
Akron Art Museum – Collections Galleries // 6-11 p.m.

View the masterpieces in the museum’s collections galleries and view the following exhibitions: The Museum Collections: C. Blake McDowell, Jr. Galleries and The Sandra L. and Dennis B. Haslinger Family Foundation Galleries.

The Akron Big Band
Greystone Hall – Ballroom // 6-10 p.m.

The Akron Big Band has been entertaining audiences for over 50 years. Big band music, swing - it's great for dancing or to liven up your evening.

The Alans
John S. Knight Center – Goodyear Ballroom // 6:15-7 p.m., 7:15-8 p.m.

Enter a world of enchantment with The Alans. Their high energy, interactive show is full of powerful magic, mind reading and family comedy.

Alice and Peter Pan
Akron-Summit Country Public Library, 1st floor // 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Take the second star on the right to get your picture taken with the leader of the Lost Boys, Peter Pan. There’s no need to go through the looking glass to get a photo with Alice in Wonderland, too courtesy of Party People, LLC.

ArtSparks TNT
John S. Knight Center – Exhibit Hall 1 // 8-8:30 p.m., 8:45-9:15 p.m.

Dance! Music! Joy! Celebrate the new year by learning some groovy moves from ArtSparks teaching artists. A performance by ArtSparks' scholarship students, Team TNT, will follow the interactive event.

Akron Art Museum – Auditorium // 9-9:45 p.m., 10-10:45 p.m.

Award winning band BLU Pi returns home for First Night Akron 2018.

Kofi Boakye
Akron Art Museum – Auditorium // 6:30-7:15 p.m., 7:30-8:15 p.m.

Award-winning teen keyboardist Kofi Boakye performs a mixture of R&B/jazz/funk alongside his band in a highly energetic music show.

Chardon Polka Band
Akron Civic Theatre // 6:15-7 p.m., 7:15-8 p.m.

The Chardon Polka Band is known for being innovative and extremely adaptive with the ability to please almost any audience. In their twelve years together, the band has made a name for itself by adding a colorful twist to the traditional genre of the polka.

Charm the Guard
Mainstage // 6:30-7 p.m., 7:15-7:45 p.m.

Charm The Guard is an amazing new band of Akron teens that cover today's most popular artists, such as Adele, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Rihanna and more. There's something for everyone!

Children's Library Make & Take
Akron-Summit Country Public Library, Children’s Library // 6-9 p.m.

Create your own New Year's greeting in puzzle form to share with family or friends.

Confucius Institute
John S. Knight Center – Exhibit Hall 1 // 6-9 p.m.

The University of Akron's Confucius Institute is dedicated to enhancing the understanding of the Chinese language and culture around the world. Ring in the new year with the Chinese dragon.

DJ Dance Party
Akron Art Museum – Lobby // 6-11 p.m.

Dance the night away in the lobby of the Akron Art Museum to tunes fit for all ages. DJ Moonhawk will spin the tunes from 6-8:30 p.m. and DJ Forrest Getemgump will close out the night from 8:30-11 p.m.

Goodyear Ice Sculpture Garden by Elegant Ice Creations
Akron Art Museum – Bud and Susie Rogers Garden // 6-11 p.m.

Stroll through the garden to view ice carvings, take a picture on the ice throne, then write down your New Year’s resolution, thoughts or wishes for the Fire & Ice Tower. Watch the ice tower be built and carved from 6-7:30 p.m., Fire & Ice activity from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and ice tower burning from 9:30-11 p.m.

The Gospel Wonders
Akron-Summit County Public Library – Auditorium // 6:15-6:45 p.m., 7-7:30 p.m.

The Gospel Wonders are a group of gospel artists telling the story of God’s love and hope for mankind.

Hard Day’s Night, Beatles tribute
Akron Civic Theatre // 10:15-11:30 p.m.

Hard Day’s Night has been performing for more than 20 years in the U.S. and internationally. The show presents the total Beatles career.

Horse Drawn Sleigh by Carriage Limousine
Main Street // 6-9 p.m.

Carriage Limousine Services will offer sleigh rides through beautiful Downtown Akron in a one-of-a-kind eight passenger horse drawn sleigh.

Floco Torres
Mainstage // 8:15-8:45 p.m., 9-9:30 p.m.

A New Jersey native, but current resident of Akron, balance is key for Floco Torres, striking a blend of deeply emotive lyrics with groove-inducing beats.

Himalayan Music Academy
Akron-Summit County Public Library – Acoustic Café (1st floor) // 6:15-7:30 p.m.

Living art has the power to connect people across language barriers and the Himalayan Music Academy has become a platform through which Nepali musicians can connect and share their culture with their children and their neighbors.

The Illusion Factory
Summit Artspace – 2nd floor // 7-8:30 p.m.

Two weavers promise the Emperor they can make the most magnificent clothes using magical cloth. When he gets his new wardrobe from them, the naked truth is, the Emperor looks very silly indeed. Come watch short scenes and participate in interactive workshops with the cast.

#3, #5 & #2 Joy Unspeakable
Akron Art Museum // 6-9 p.m.
John S. Knight Center – Roaming // 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Akron-Summit County Public Library // 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Keep an eye out for these unique statues. Their animated expressions and gestures make them look so realistic; you might just think they are real. The Living Canvas is an interactive painting experience where the statue is actively painted by the public in real time.

The Kahuna Kings
John S. Knight Center – Foundations Room // 7:45-9:15 p.m.

Enjoy fun, energetic, instrumental, surf music straight from the beach. With big, lush reverb dripping guitars, pulse pounding rhythms and beach beauties dancing along with music, this is a great musical experience for all.

Kaleidoscope Exhibit
Summit Artspace Gallery – 1st floor // 6-9 p.m.

Hundreds of regional artists compete to get into the most anticipated and final art competition of the year at Summit Artspace, Kaleidoscope 2017. But only a fraction make it into the show, where the quality of the work is uniformly high.  Kaleidoscope was founded by Alliance for the Visual Arts in 2002 and has become a well-respected and frequently reviewed source of inspiration for Northeast Ohio art aficionados.

Leven Lenses Photography Exhibit
John S. Knight Center – Exhibit Hall 1 // 6-10 p.m.

Enjoy this photography exhibit featuring work from the Leven Lenses Project, a youth photography apprenticeship in the Summit Lake neighborhood.

Magical Theatre Co.
Akron-Summit Country Public Library – Auditorium // 8-8:45 p.m., 9-9:45 p.m., 10-10:45 p.m.

Larger than Life: American Tall Tales: Enjoy a rousing collection of some of the greatest American tall tales and legends. We’ll add a few songs and gags to make it even taller.

Matrix Performing Arts
Roaming // 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Mainstage/Lock 3 // 11:30 p.m. - Midnight

Follow the Matrix Performing Arts Drum Corps as they make their way from the Mainstage to Lock 3 for the midnight fireworks displays.

Mo’ Mojo
John S. Knight Center – Goodyear Ballroom // 10-11:30 p.m.

Mo’ Mojo is a hard driving, high energy, Pardi-Gras band. Zydeco infused with Blues, Americana, Cajun, Reggae, Rock & Roll, Funk and R&B. Features accordion, fiddle, guitar, rubboard, sax, trumpet, harp, bass and drums.

Neos Dance Theatre
Greystone Hall – Ballroom // 6-10 p.m.

Dance the night away with the Neos dancers in the Greystone Ballroom to sounds of Akron Big Band.

Ohio Shakespeare Festival
Greystone Hall – 6th floor // 7-8:45 p.m.

Party like it’s 1599--join Ohio Shakespeare’s fight team for a recap of our best stage combat from 2017. Ring in the new year with some swingin’ steel!

Shelby Olive
Akron-Summit County Public Library – Acoustic Café (1st floor) // 8-9:15 p.m.

Shelby Olive, an Akron native, is a songbird at heart. She got her first ukulele at the age of 13 and hasn't stopped making music since. She most recently was awarded grand prize in the music category at the High Art Festival in downtown Akron.

One T Entertainment DJ Dance Party
Akron-Summit County Public Library – 2nd Floor // 6-11 p.m.

Dance your way through the library! Music for all ages provided by One T Entertainment.

Pat Catan’s Mask Making
Summit Artspace – 1st floor Transition Gallery // 6-9 p.m.

First Night’s favorite make and take activity is back and in a new location! With sequins, feathers, and beads, you’ll find the perfect combination to create a masterpiece.

Pick-Up Stix
John S. Knight Center – Roaming // 9:30-10:30 p.m. //
Main Street // 11:15 p.m.-Midnight

We elevate the new year celebration with colorful stiltwalkers entertaining the participants into the new year.

Daniel Rylander
Akron-Summit County Public Library – Acoustic Café (1st floor) // 9:45-11 p.m.

Daniel Rylander is a singer/songwriter who's been performing his music since 2013. Touching on multiple genres, his sound is defined by his unique voice and catchy melodies.

Sensory Space
Akron-Summit County Public Library – Classroom // 6-11 p.m.

Families who have members on the autism spectrum are invited to drop in our autism-friendly sensory room to enjoy some quiet time and soothing activities such as reading, coloring and playing with puppets. 

Sponsored by the Center for Applied Drama & Autism and Ardmore Inc.. 

Short Film Screenings
John S. Knight Center – Firestone Room // 9-11 p.m.

Grab popcorn from the JSK concession stand and enjoy a collection of short films courtesy of The Nightlight Cinema.

Silent Disco & Optics of Memory Experience
John S. Knight Center – OMNOVA Solutions Room // 6-11 p.m.

Grab a pair of wireless headphones and dance the night away while watching the video feed from the SignWaves installation at the Akron-Summit County Public Library. SignWaves is part of Optics of Memory and Curated Storefront. The Silent Disco features One T Entertainment, DJ Vinnie G and DJ Kevin Richards.

Elec Simon
John S. Knight Center – Foundations Room // 6-7 p.m.

Elec Simon, formerly with STOMP and currently with the Cleveland Cavalier’s Q-Stix, has made it his life’s mission to spread his brand of music. It’s a rhythm based off of nature’s oldest drum; the heart, and it’s from the heart that his message flows – teach our children to love one another and the world will grow up with them to be a better place.

Summit County Safe Communities
John S. Knight Center – Maidenburg Concourse // 6-11 p.m.

Funded by a grant to the Sheriff’s Office from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, program focuses on highway safety issues and the overall safety of the community. Play a game of cornhole and learn about safe driving.

UA Chamber Choir
Greystone Hall – 4th floor (Doric Room) // 6:15-6:45 p.m., 7-7:30 p.m.

The Chamber Choir is the premier auditioned choir at The University of Akron. The ensemble focuses on more technically difficult music from all eras and styles.

Umojah Nation
Mainstage // 10-10:30 p.m., 10:45-11:15 p.m.

Northeast Ohio's most inspired reggae band. Striving for unity, spiritual oneness and a lasting harmony through the powerful force called Reggae music.

University of Akron Steel Drum Band
John S. Knight Center – Exhibit Hall 1 // 6:30-7:30 p.m.
John S. Knight Center – Goodyear Ballroom // 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Warm up with the Caribbean vibes of the University of Akron Steel Drum Band.  Discover the wonder of sound created by the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, the steelpan.

The Hal Walker Trio
Greystone Hall – 4th floor Doric Room // 8-8:45 p.m., 9-9:45 p.m.

Ohio's musical treasure, Hal Walker is a singer, songwriter and musical explorer. He fascinates audiences with funky rhythms on unusual instruments. His vocal trio brings lush harmonies and memorable melodies.

The Michael Weber Show
Akron Civic Theatre // 8:30-9:45 p.m.

The Michael Weber Show is an explosive rock/blues band focused around guitar prodigy, Michael Weber. With acclaimed musicianship and high-energy showmanship, they'll blow you away.

Craig Woodson
John S. Knight Center – Firestone Room // 6-8 p.m.

Celebrate 2018 by drumming in drum circle fun. All ages are welcome to join in. Plus you can make, decorate, play and take home your own simple percussion instrument.

Yiddishe Cup
John S. Knight Center – Foundations Room // 10-11:30 p.m.

“Hava Nagila” to the 10th power! This Klezmer band lights up the stage with their eccentric mix of Yiddish music.